RSS Feed
  1. Joe Biden might run in 2020!

    May 22, 2017 by admin

    Joe Biden has been out of office for four months, but the former vice president hasn’t left the public eye.

    Instead, Biden has kept a robust schedule that fuels speculation about a 2020 presidential run.

    Some Democrats looking to bounce back from 2016 defeats are still looking to Biden to reorient their messaging in a way that could win back the working-class voters who fled the party to vote for President Trump.

    Biden, who passed on running for president last year after a lengthy period of indecision, has promised to remain involved in rebuilding the party.

    When it comes to a White House bid in 2020, though, he has sent mixed signals, noting that he currently has no plans to mount a campaign. And Biden’s age — he’ll be 78 by Inauguration Day in 2021 — would make him by far the oldest president ever.
    Still, Biden’s busy recent schedule of events and appearances suggests he hasn’t entirely ruled out another bid.

    Biden has attended a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas and a fundraiser for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). His jam-packed calendar also includes upcoming speeches at the Florida Democratic Party and at a few college commencements. Biden will also receive an award at the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Gala next month.

    But the appearance that drew the loudest buzz was Biden’s speech last month at a state party dinner in New Hampshire — a critical early state in the presidential primary circuit. During his speech, Biden sought to tamp down the 2020 rumors.

    “When I got asked to speak, I knew it was going to cause speculation,” Biden said to applause, only to add, “Guys, I’m not running.”

    That wasn’t the first time Biden has shot down the possibility of a presidential bid. Right before he left office, Biden said he doesn’t intend to run.

    “I have no intention of running for president, but I do have the intention to stay deeply involved in everything I’ve done my whole life,” Biden said on “The View” in January.

    Still, his most recent reference to any lingering presidential ambitions showed that he still appears open to it and won’t rule anything out.

    “I may very well do it,” Biden said about a run at the SALT hedge fund conference in Las Vegas on Friday. “At this point, no one in my family or I have made the judgment to run.”

    As Biden’s schedule resembles the itinerary of someone looking to test the presidential waters, voters so far appear enthusiastic about a Biden comeback.

    A survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released this month found Biden as the leading Democratic contender in a hypothetical matchup against Trump. The recent poll found Biden defeating Trump in a head-to-head race by 14 percentage points, 54 to 40 percent — a margin 1 point larger than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who polled 13 points ahead of Trump.

    Democratic strategists close to Biden, who has been affectionately nicknamed “Uncle Joe” by supporters for his avuncular demeanor and tendency to make gaffes, say it’s in his nature to stay active in politics, especially after holding elected office for more than four decades.

    From The Hill

  2. Indivisible Medicare/Social Security Meeting

    May 22, 2017 by admin

    AGENDA – Mon., 5/22/17

    Meeting Objective:
    Create A Panel Event for “Social Security for All”


    Arrange for a Venue [UPDATE]
    Team: Michael Dowling, Sue Shorey, Helene Marcoux
    Helene: Wesley Grant Community Center?

    Set a Date for the event
    Dependent on availability of venue

    Select Panel members [UPDATE]
    Team: Michael Dowling, Arlene Cotler, Linda Flynn (?)
    What specific areas of expertise do we want to be covered by panel members?
    Michael Dowling has secured tentative panel member from AARP
    Local Social Security office representative
    Millenial Representative – “why I want Social Security.”
    CPA – Millenial CPA financial planner
    CPA – neutral – someone who understands finance
    A couple of representatives from Our Team –
    Explain this is how funded
    Explain Medicare, Medicaid and how funded

    Gather information about the panel subject [UPDATE]
    Team: Mary Farmer, Sandy Roggero, Wilma Morris, Michelle Soule
    Prepare Information Sheet to be handed out after panel

    Create an Action Plan [3-month?]

    Set Date for Next Meeting
    Need suggestions for free venues (i.e., Earth Fare stores – heavily booked in advance)
    Libraries? ($10 charge)

  3. From the Hill!

    May 21, 2017 by admin

    Worries mount about vacancies in Trump’s State Department
    Concerns are growing about a short-staffed State Department dealing with a host of international crises.

    As President Trump begins his first foreign trip, seven of the nine senior State Department roles under Secretary Rex Tillerson remain vacant, including his top deputy. The only two officials in senior roles were appointed by former President Obama and have been kept on.

    While the Trump administration has put the blame on Senate Democrats and the slow confirmation process, others say Trump has been slow to issue nominations.

  4. Rep. Susan Fisher Buncombe County District 114

    May 21, 2017 by admin

    The Raleigh Report

    May 21, 2017

    Last Week In the Office

    image003.jpg image004.jpg
    Left, Dr. William McLean of MAHEC Education Center, and on the right, a group of doctors representing the NC Chapter of the American College of Physicians for the annual “White Coat Wednesday”. They include Dr. Noel Ivey and some of her colleagues in Internal medicine.

    Craft Brewers visit from Buncombe. We have a great and growing craft
    beer industry in WNC. It is good to have the opportunity to talk with all our
    visiting groups about the issues they face. Photos by Intern Emily Walter.

    The Week Ahead

    Next week the House will begin their work on the State Budget. So far we have the Governor’s budget proposal and we have the Senate’s plan. Below you will note the differences between Governor Cooper’s approach and Senate Republican leaders’, but first a quick reminder of the budget process itself.

    The State Budget: The Process

    A state budget shows what is important to us and what are priorities are. Always keep that in mind as you hear and learn about the budget.

    Passing a budget takes several steps.
    · Step #1: Governor Cooper introduces his budget proposal.

    · Step #2: The Senate passes its budget proposal.

    · Step #3: The House passes its budget proposal. [Next week begins Step #3.]

    · Step #4: The House and Senate agree on a common budget.

    · Step #5: The Governor signs the budget or vetoes it. If he signs, it is law.

    · Step #6: If the Governor vetoes, the House & Senate will try to override his veto.

    · Step #7: If House & Senate override, their budget is law. If not, we start over.

    Right now, we have two budget proposals: Governor Cooper’s and the State Senate’s. Check out this side-by-side comparison of the two.

    Nothing Good Happens at 3:00 AM

    Last week, the Senate Republicans passed their budget without a single Democratic vote. The budget was drafted over time by a few senators without public input. It was released to the public before midnight on a Monday, voted on in committee on Tuesday, and passed by the full Senate in a vote on Wednesday and a vote at 3:00 in the morning on Thursday.

    The headline of the Senate Republican budget is that it falls far short of Governor Cooper’s proposal. Senate Republicans prioritize tax breaks that primarily benefit the wealthiest individuals and corporations at the expense of the middle class. Governor Cooper’s budget focuses on job creation, education investment, and putting more money in the pockets of working families.

    Here are a few specific highlights.

    Cooper Budget
    Senate GOP Budget
    No tax or fee increases.
    Billion dollar tax cut that gives average millionaire 60 times more of a break than the average middle class family.
    10% pay raise for all teachers over two years.
    No raise for first year or teachers with 25+ years’ experience. A smaller raise than Governor’s budget at every experience level.
    $20 million in flexible funding for local schools to hire TAs or school support staff.
    $150 per teacher to reimburse for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.
    Eliminates pre-K waiting list.
    Cuts pre-K waiting list in half.
    $20 million investment in expanding rural broadband access.
    $250,000 for state IT agency.
    $30 million investment in job “ready sites” to help struggling areas attract jobs.
    Reinstate child and dependent tax care credit.
    Does not reinstate credit.
    $800 or 2% pay raise for state employees AND a $500 bonus. No retiree COLA, but a 1.5% bonus for retirees.
    $750 or 1.5% pay raise for state employees. No retiree COLA. No bonuses.

    The newly-introduced Senate GOP budget fell far short of what was needed. Then, at 3:00 in the morning on Thursday, things got even worse. Senate Democrats had criticized the budget for failing to do more to address the statewide opioid abuse crisis. Governor Cooper’s budget called for $14 million statewide for mental health and law enforcement. The Senate GOP budget set up a pilot program in only one county to tackle the crisis.

    Stung by Democratic criticisms that their one county approach fell short, Senate GOP leaders passed an amendment to fund more pilot programs, but only in counties represented by Republican senators. Where did the money for these new programs come from? From cuts to early college high schools, eastern NC’s STEM program, small downtown revitalization, the NC Museum of Art, and programs that help teacher assistants work toward college degrees, so they can become teachers – all exclusively from counties represented by Democrats! It was partisan payback at 3 in the morning, with students, teacher assistants, and some of the most economically vulnerable communities in our state as the real losers. And while it’s a small part of the overall budget, it pretty much tells the story of how bad the Senate GOP budget is.

    At 3 a.m., NC Senate GOP strips education funding from Democrats’ districts
    The News & Observer

    Republicans in N.C. Senate cut education funding — but only in Democratic districts. Really.
    Washington Post

    The Devil’s in the Details: How to Cut 133,000 People Off Food Assistance

    One of the worst parts of the Senate GOP budget is that it is kept secret and rushed through. The House is usually better than that and I hope this remains true this year. We are still finding out critical details of the Senate budget, days after it was passed by their side. For example, the Senate budget includes a change in state law to cut 133,000 North Carolina citizens off federal food assistance programs. Included in this are 51,000 kids. This is a cut that does not save a dime of state taxpayer money. Not a dime. Instead, it just makes our people ineligible to receive federal food assistance.

    So, under the Senate Republicans’ budget, we continue to send the same amount of federal tax dollars to Washington, but 133,000 of North Carolina citizens stop receiving food assistance funds. It is a kick in the face to our most vulnerable people for no good reason. You know the saying “the devil’s in the details” – that is particularly true with the Senate Republican budget.

    Cooper criticizes Senate budget provision on food stamps

    In the wee hours, NC Senate Republicans act small (Jim Jenkins column)
    The News & Observer

    133,000 people would lose food stamps under NC Senate budget
    The News & Observer

    Good News: Raise the Age Passes NC House

    Not all the news from the General Assembly is bad. Republicans and Democrats joined together to pass an important juvenile justice reform called “Raise the Age.” Currently, North Carolina is the only state in the country to handle 16 and 17 year olds in the adult criminal justice system. No other state thinks this is a good idea. Studies and independent analyses show that it is better to handle kids who commit crimes in juvenile court. They receive more appropriate punishments and have access to better rehabilitation programs. Juvenile court produces a much lower rate of recidivism. Raise the Age has long been championed by House Democrats, but has failed to earn support in the Senate. This year its prospects appear better than ever, as the Senate, for the first time, has passed a version of the Raise the Age law. Hopefully, the two chambers can come together to pass legislation that will work to make our communities safer and give our young people the best resources to get their lives back on track after they have committed a crime.

    More Good News: Voter ID

    North Carolina earned national attention last year when it passed one of the most sweeping anti-voter access laws in the country. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck the law down citing, as one reason, its targeting African-American voters with “near surgical precision.” Republican leaders appealed the Fourth Circuit’s opinion. This week the U.S. Supreme Court turned away the GOP appeal leaving the Fourth Circuit’s opinion as the law of the land. Our laws remain unchanged for now, but GOP leaders, in criticizing the court decisions, are vowing to pass new laws. So stay tuned.

    In the Media

    Strict North Carolina Voter ID Law Thwarted After Supreme Court Rejects Case
    NY Times

    Supreme Court won’t review decision that found N.C. voting law discriminates against African Americans
    Washington Post

    Editorial: Hoist a toast to the Supreme Court, but you better drink fast
    Charlotte Observer

    News Clips – Disaster Relief

    Sleeping on floors and in boarded up hotels. 7 months after Matthew, renters still mired in misery
    The News & Observer

    Our view: Mr. President, come see for yourself
    Winston-Salem Journal

    Our Opinion: Shortchanging N.C. on hurricane relief a slap in the face
    The Wilson Times

    EDITORIAL, May 14: Hurricane victims need more help
    Wilmington Star-News

    News Clips – Opioid Abuse Crisis

    Forsyth has largest rise in opioid-related deaths among urban areas
    Winston-Salem Journal

    2 Triad counties in Top 4 for opioid overdose deaths in North Carolina
    Greensboro News & Record

    Opioid-related deaths increase by 73% in NC from 2005 to 2015

    New data shows sobering impacts of opioid crisis in NC

    News Clips – Misc

    NC Lawmakers Advance Bill That Would Raise Money For School Construction

    Gov. Cooper visits Charlotte as Sealed Air officially relocates to Queen City

    26 counties will no longer require emissions testing

    Even sponsors know some bills won’t pass NC legislature. Why bother?
    Asheville Citizen-Times

    Is the Census heading for a crisis?

    Thank you for your interest in state government. I hope you will contact me if I can be of help.

    Keep in touch,



    May 21, 2017 by admin

    Come hear one of the most prominent Universal Healthcare advocates of our generation, Dr. Margaret Flowers, and local area speakers discuss the necessity for building a movement for Universal Single-Payer Healthcare now, and why it cannot wait. Dr. Margaret Flowers is one of the most prominent Universal Healthcare advocates of our generation, as well as a long-time social & economic justice and anti-war activist. Let’s discuss the necessity for building a national movement for Universal Single-Payer Healthcare Now, and why it cannot wait. Most of the stops will be sponsored by the PNHP affiliates Healthcare for All and Healthcare Justice. This is sponsored by the NC Green Party. Contact Tony Ndege at for more information, including how to register. Location is the Pack Memorial Library at 67 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Time is 6 PM, with program starting at 6:30 PM.

  6. Al Franken for US Senate

    May 21, 2017 by admin


    We wanted to get as many virtual signatures on his card before the day is over.

    Sign his birthday card >>

    Al’s gift from us will be the knowledge that we’re with him and appreciate his work. Nothing we can pick out at a store could possibly mean more than that.

    Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this. Sign Al’s birthday card >>

    And don’t forget to add a personal message for him, we’ll pass them all along!

    Thanks for helping make Al’s birthday an awesome one.

    Team Franken

  7. Rich Lee for Asheville City Council

    May 21, 2017 by admin

    Conncil candidates in Action, May 21-27
    View this email in your browser

    Campaign Kickoff Thursday. Please join us.
    Lindsay and I are excited to host you at our home this Thursday, May 25th, between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. We’ll have local food and beer, local music from The Resonant Rogues, and a great chance to talk about ideas for the city. See you there! Can’t attend? You can still support the campaign here.

    Council Candidates’ Forum on Policing
    It’s only May, but there are already NINE(!) serious council contenders. Eight of them will be answering questions about police policy and priorities for the city today, May 21, at the Eddington Center in Southside, 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Come see where the candidates stand on the issues, ahead of Tuesday’s city budget hearing. Can’t attend? Here’s Rich’s positions on racial justice and public safety.

    Copyright © 2017 Rich Lee for Asheville City Council, All rights reserved.
    You’re receiving this letter because you’re Rich’s friend or colleague, or you offered to help his campaign.

    Our mailing address is:
    Rich Lee for Asheville City Council
    520 New Haw Creek Rd
    Asheville, NC 28805

  8. f you want to post something send it to me!

    May 21, 2017 by admin

    Mail positive postings to my web sight!

  9. Attend a meting on community policing!

    May 21, 2017 by admin

    Policing continues to be a crisis for many people in Asheville. As community members, we are deeply concerned about how our neighborhoods are being policed. This evening will bring together current and potential Asheville City Council members, whom of which will be answering questions drafted by community members in reference to policing and community related issues. There will also be time for live Q&A. Time is 5 to 7 PM and location is Arthur Edington Education and Career Center at 133 Livingston Street in Asheville. Interpretation and childcare are available. RSVP at 828-242-826.

  10. Social Security Works!

    May 21, 2017 by admin

    In our fight to protect and expand Social Security, our greatest challenge has been the pervasive myth that the program is unaffordable. This myth did not become conventional “wisdom” by accident—it emerged from a billionaire-funded campaign to undermine confidence in Social Security so that they can run a privatized program and push for benefit cuts that save them taxes.

    And after decades of media consolidation, Wall Street billionaires now own ninety percent of the country’s major media companies through just six corporations. From Morning Joe to the editorial page of the Washington Post, the corporate media is filled with anti-Social Security propaganda.

    Since it was founded, Social Security Works has fought this propaganda and spread the truth using every possible channel. That’s why in 2014, we made the decision to expand our reach by launching a weekly radio show and podcast, The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow.

    Richard Eskow, the show’s host, was also the senior writer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. His takeaway from that experience?

    “We can’t have a political revolution without a media revolution. People can’t fight for what’s right if they don’t know what’s wrong.”
    That’s why The Zero Hour is about to make the leap from radio to television. Every Monday at 9:30pm EST, The Zero Hour will air on Free Speech TV, which is available in 37 million households nationwide. It will also be available at

    Our message about protecting and expanding Social Security, and fighting for healthcare and economic justice for all Americans, will soon be reaching an even broader audience.

    Support independent media by sharing The Zero Hour’s exciting announcement on Facebook today!

    We’re not watering down our message to serve corporate overlords. We’re undermining them. The media revolution is just beginning. Please tune in. And join us, if you haven’t already, in our fight for economic justice and security for all.

    Thank you,

    Alex Lawson
    Social Security Works